‘Church key to development’ l President urges participation in modernisation, industrialisation

12 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
‘Church key to development’ l President urges participation in modernisation, industrialisation President Mnangagwa addresses congregants at the 25th Episcopal (Silver Jubilee) Ordination Anniversary of Archbishop Robert Ndlovu at the Catholic University in Hatfield, Harare, yesterday. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

The Sunday Mail

Debra Matabvu

IT is the duty of every Zimbabwean to participate in the ongoing modernisation and industrialisation of the country, and the Church should play its role in this pursuit of rapid socio-economic development, President Mnangagwa has said.

Speaking at the 25th Episcopal (Silver Jubilee) Ordination Anniversary of Archbishop Robert Ndlovu of the Roman Catholic Church Harare Diocese at the Catholic University yesterday, the President called on the Church to take up opportunities being presented by the Government to drive development.

He said unity of purpose between the Government and the Church will deliver results.

“I invite the Church, collectively and as individuals, to take up economic opportunities availed through the policies of the Second Republic across all social and economic spheres,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa being welcomed by Archbishop of Harare Robert Christopher Ndlovu (left), Father Ephraim Murwira(third from right) who is the Secretary to the Archbishop, Vicar General Father Muguti (second from right) and Chaplain of the Catholic University Father Guide Marambanyika (right)

President Mnangagwa being welcomed by Archbishop of Harare Robert Christopher Ndlovu (left), Father Ephraim Murwira(third from right) who is the Secretary to the Archbishop, Vicar General Father Muguti (second from right) and Chaplain of the Catholic University Father Guide Marambanyika (right)

“The obligation to build, modernise and industrialise falls on all of us. Together in unity, nothing is impossible.”

The Church, President Mnangagwa said, was a vital cog in the country’s developmental aspirations, as evidenced by its participation in developing social services infrastructure, particularly in the health and education sectors.

The Church, he added, should continue safeguarding and preserving society’s moral fabric through its teachings.

“May I acknowledge, with a deep sense of gratitude, the work of churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, as strategic socio-economic development partners.

Worshippers follow proceedings during a mass

Worshippers follow proceedings during a mass

“Roman Catholic schools, hospitals and many other institutions have been instrumental in driving our national development imperatives, especially in the education and health sectors,” said the President.

“Many of the leaders of our country in both the public and private sphere have passed through your schools.

“We look forward to the support of the Catholic Church in our quest to stamp out drug and substance abuse, as well as raise morally upright, productive and patriotic young people.”

He also commended the relationship between the Church and the Government, which, he added, has helped foster peace and unity in the country.

President Mnangagwa and Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga (giving back to camera) bade farewell to Archbishop of Harare Robert Christopher Ndlovu (second from right) and Bishop President Paul Horan O. carm (right)

“I personally appreciate the fraternal nature of your relationship with the Government under the Second Republic,” he added.

“Your personal support and that of the Church to our national development philosophy, ‘Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatirwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’, has been invaluable in advancing accelerated development across the country.

“This has been critically important, given the membership base of the Catholic Church.

“To this end, as Government, we remain grateful for the continued messages of love, peace, patriotism, unity and harmony that are preached throughout your parishes.”

President Mnangagwa added: “In your capacity and communion with fellow church leaders from across denominations, you have established a tradition where you visit me at State House to offer prayers and supplications, as well as perspectives on various pertinent national issues.

“I have found such interactions invaluable and enriching.

“Let us remain united and focused as we continue to preach the culture of hard, honest work, production and productivity towards the prosperity of our country.”

He also congratulated Archbishop Ndlovu for being invited to a crucial global meeting of Roman Catholic Church leaders by the church’s head, Pope Francis, later this year.

He said the invitation was an honour not only to the Roman Catholics but also to the country as a whole.

“It has come to my knowledge that you received a personal invitation from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to attend the Second Phase of the Synodal Meeting later this year,” he said.

“This makes us proud as a nation that our country and the Catholic community in Zimbabwe will be represented in Rome, deliberating on issues affecting our world.

“May the Almighty God grant you grace and wisdom in those meetings.”

Archbishop Ndlovu’s Episcopal Ordination was in 1999.

He was installed Archbishop of Harare in 2004, succeeding the late Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa.

The event was attended by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga; his wife Mrs Miniyothabo Chiwenga; ZANU PF Secretary for Finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa; representative of the Holy Father to Zimbabwe, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Janusz Stanislaw Urbanczyk; Roman Catholic Church bishops and priests; as well as senior Government officials.

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